Here’s a fascinating look at The Guardian’s design system with a step-by-step breakdown of what’s gone into it and what options are available to designers and developers. It shows us how the team treats colors, typography, layouts, and visual cues like rules and borders.

I’ve been struggling to think about how to describe design systems internally to folks and this is giving me a ton of inspiration right now. I like that this website has all the benefits of a video (great tone and lovely visuals) with all the benefits of a UI kit (by showing what options are available to folks).

This also loosely ties back into something Chris has been discussing lately, which is being mindful of knowing who a design system is for. Some are meant for internal use and others, some are meant for internal use but are openly available for people like contractors, and others are meant for varying degrees of external use. Here, The Guadian is not explicit about who their design system is for, but the description of it gives a pretty good hint:

A guide to digital design at the Guardian

So please, enjoy looking at this well-documented, highly interactive and gorgeous design system. At the same time, remember it’s made for a specific use case and may not line up with all the needs of your project or organization. It sure is inspirational to look at, one way or the other!

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Robin Rendle

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